n South African Law Journal - Suicide notes, wills, testamentary capacity, and s 2(3) of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 : : notes

Volume 128, Issue 4
  • ISSN : 0258-2503
  • E-ISSN: 1996-2177



It is not uncommon for a person who commits suicide to leave some form of document to be discovered on his or her death. In many instances this is a farewell note intended for those left behind and has no legal ramifications. Where, however, the document goes further and touches on what is to become of the deceased's property then questions arise whether this is a testamentary disposition and, if so, whether the requirements for the execution of a valid will have been fully complied with. (The elements of a testamentary disposition are: a disposition of assets, an identification of the beneficiaries, and an indication of their interests in the assets ( 1957 (3) SA 471 (N) at 474A-C; 1974 (2) SA 434 (O) at 436C-D. For the execution requirements see s 2(1) of the Wills Act 7 of 1953 (as amended) (hereafter the 'Wills Act' or the 'Act'.))

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